Natural Science Collections Alliance

Our members are part of an international community of museums, botanical gardens, herbariums, universities and other institutions that house natural science collections and utilize them in research, exhibitions, academic and informal science education, and outreach activities.

NSC Alliance Urges Duke University to Reconsider Decision to Close Herbarium

On February 16, 2024, the Natural Science Collections (NSC) Alliance sent a letter to Duke University leadership in response to reports about the closure of their herbarium due to a change in funding priorities.

The letter strongly urged Duke leadership to reconsider the decision to dismantle the herbarium. “Duke’s proposed divestment of its herbarium is unprecedented. At 825,000 specimens, the Duke Herbarium will be the largest herbarium in history of the U.S. to be abandoned by its host institution,” reads the letter. “[This decision] would lead to serious negative ramifications not only for researchers and students at Duke, but also for a wide range of stakeholders that rely on the herbarium, including natural resource agencies in North Carolina and researchers in the Research Triangle.”

Read the letter

NSC Alliance has also endorsed a related petition, along with the American Bryological and Lichenological Society (ABLS), American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio), Society of Herbarium Curators (SHC), and the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC). We encourage individuals, who care about biodiversity and species discovery, and believe that herbaria play a crucial role in this field, to sign it.

NSC Alliance Urges Duke University to Reconsider Decision to Close Herbarium
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